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May 4, 2008

CAR story

I found this story from USA Today through nicar.org.
It is about how different ticket prices for the National Conventions this summer will get people different perks.
The computer assisted reporting comes into play when the reporter breaks down what different priced tickets offerer. There is a spreadsheet at the bottom of the story breaking down different priced tickets and what the donor gets.
In St. Paul, the platinum package costs $100,000 and includes three hotel rooms and priority credentials to evening sessions.
The reporter had to be familiar with a spreadsheet program for this article. I am certain that he used programs to find and aggregate the information too. He was dealing with two different cities, and many sources for tickets.

April 13, 2008

Italian Bakery, Jewish Conversion

I found this article in today's edition of the New York Times. It is about an Italian baker in the Bronx who makes a traditional Jewish bread, challah, because the neighborhood is very diverse.
I thought the article was interesting and moved beyond the stereotype that small stores, especially grocery stores, run by someone of a specific ethnicity, would sell only their type of food.
This man, an Italian, sells challah because there is a prominent Jewish population in the neighborhood. He also makes other types of food that people in the article said was, "better than their grandmother's."
The story uses quotes from the bakery owner, but also quotes a sociologist about the changing diversity of neighborhoods in New York.
This paragraph is a great example of what the article was trying to say about changing diversity in New York and elsewhere.

"In the old days, neighborhoods were more ethnically defined — or, as sociologists like to say, homogeneous. Ethnic bakeries could thrive just baking for their own. But according to demographers like Joseph J. Salvo of the New York City Department of Planning, more urban pockets are what they call “melting pot neighborhoods,? where no single ethnic group can claim more than 50 percent of the populace and other ethnicities are substantially represented. That character is increasingly true of a country where the governor of Louisiana is a son of Indian immigrants and a Democratic candidate for president is the son of a Kenyan."

In general, I thought it was an interesting piece and a great story about this man.

April 6, 2008

Analysis- Nation on Wrong Track

The New York Times released an article with a poll on Friday saying American's are more dissatisfied with the country now than in the past. The article uses numbers in several ways, but percentages are the most prominent.
"In the poll, 81 percent of respondents said they believed “things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track,? up from 69 percent a year ago and 35 percent in early 2002," the article said. This is one of several ways the article.
The percentages are useful because the poll is about the American public. These numbers help put the poll into perspective for everyone.
Another way the article uses numbers is when talking about money and time.
I think these numbers are not overwhelming because the authors do a good job at spreading them out. There are not too many in one place. They also use a lot of numbers to make the reader understand better.
I would imagine that any of the numbers used were directly from the poll, so the authors themselves did not do any math. The poll was sponsored by the New York Times and CBS News.
Towards the bottom of the story, there is a paragraph explaining the sources, and dates of the poll. It included the number or people, the method, the dates and margin or error.

March 30, 2008

Bill Carlson

Bill Carlson died earlier this month, but I think his death was notable for the community. The Star Tribune article written about Carlson followed the standard obituary lead.
"Longtime WCCO-TV anchor Bill Carlson died Friday night at his Eden Prairie home after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer. He was 73," the article said.
I think even for someone as significant as Carlson, this lead was the best because all of the necessary information is there.
The sources the article used were people. Fellow anchor, Don Shelby was interviewed as well as WCCO news director, Scott Libin. Other sources were Dark Star, Rob Grubb and J. Marie Fieger. All of these people seemed to know Carlson well. The article did list WCCO as a source at the very end for funeral information. I think this obituary is different than a resume about Carlson, because it was about all of noteworthy accomplishments in life. Had he still been living, one might have focused on recent events or not gone quite as in depth. Also, I don't think it would have been nearly as "quote heavy." People wanted to reflect on how they felt about Carlson. In a resume, we might have seen less than half the amount of quotes.

March 9, 2008

River to Infinity- The Vanishing Points

Vita.MN advanced Andréa Stanislav's "River to Infinity- The Vanishing Points" in its latest issue.
The article starts out talking about how Stanislav uses the obelisk in here installation calling int "poetic."
The author, Mary Abbe, is advancing the event, because it ends in 11 days, but it has already been running. Her source is her own perception of the installation.
She is very fond of the work, and the advance is positive. "The beauty of Stanislav's installation lies in its evocative ambiguity. It is at once precise yet poetic, lucid yet lyrical, and always richly layered with multiple allusions," said the article.
The author has crafted a story about the artist and her work rather than just mention the exhibit will be ending soon.

March 2, 2008

Andean Trade Preference Act

President Bush extended the Andean Trade Preference Act on Friday according to the press release from the White House. The act is now extended until December 31, 2008.
"ATPA is designed to promote economic development and reduce illegal crop production in the Andean region by providing duty-free access to the U.S. market for most imports from Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador," said the release.
Reuters also covered the story on Friday with slightly more analysis. Rather than just give the news, the article provided some context about the situation. "The Andean trade preference program dates back to the early 1990s and allows the four countries to export most of their goods to U.S. market without paying duties," said the article. "It is part of U.S. efforts to discourage cocaine production in the Andean region by providing other job opportunities."
I think the author of the Reuters article had more freedom to write a longer article, and was able to add more content to the story. The White House writer's job was only to give news about what the president signed.
The Reuters author had the choice of what to add to the article where as the other author had the obligation of just the news event.

February 17, 2008

NIU Shootings

I did not choose the very first report of the Northern Illinois University shootings, but this first article from CNN.com was updated from the original report.
The second story is coming from time.com, but in the header of the page, it says "In partnership with CNN." I do not think they are competing news sources.
The leads in the story are slightly different. The first lead gives the most important information. "A gunman dressed in black stepped from behind a curtain at the front of a large lecture hall at Northern Illinois University on Thursday and shot 21 people, five of them fatally, then shot and killed himself, said university president John Peters."
The second lead is completely centered around the release of the gunman's name. "The gunman who killed five people in a Northern Illinois University lecture hall before committing suicide was identified Friday as 27-year-old former student Steven Kazmierczak, according to Florida authorities and a university official familiar with the investigation. "
The first story covers the event that happened at NIU. It gives commentary from police officers and students for example. It also give some information about the classroom and the college. The second story touches some of this information, but since the biggest part was the release of the gunman's name, it talks more about that. For example, Kazmierczak's father was interviewed in Florida.
The second story advances from the original report of the shootings to the release of not only the gunman's name, but also the five victims.
I think these two stories are perfect examples of how to advance a news story, and how to weave in the new and more important information to a previously written story.

February 3, 2008

Internet Failure Hits Two Continents

The original story from CNN
I chose this lead because I think it was an excellent example of a hard-news lead. "High-technology services across large tracts of Asia, the Middle East and North Africa were crippled Thursday following a widespread Internet failure which brought many businesses to a standstill and left others struggling to cope." We see an element for the "what" high-technology services, "where" areas of Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, "when" Thursday, Jan. 31. I believe the "who" in this story are are the people that were affected. A large portion of the story talks about them.
There are some detailed elements like where and when, but then the rest of the story explains much more about the how and why of the issue.
This was the first entry I made, and it was right after we had learned about leads. I can see why they are so important. The majority of the information covered in the story was given in the first sentence. Someone could have read that much and known at least a little about the problem.